Daniel Johnston hospitalized
Lo-fi king Daniel Johnston was admitted to the Tomball Regional Medical
Center in his hometown of Waller, TX last Wednesday after experiencing
incoherency and an inability to walk, his website reports. According to
official fan webpage RejectedUnknown.com, Daniel's father Bill Johnston is
fairly sure his son's symptoms could be attributed to lithium poisoning, as
a result of the medication Daniel takes to fight mental illness.
Though a press release has not been provided regarding the hospital trip,
Bill told Rejected Unknown that he suspects the episode was caused by
changes in Daniel's eating and drinking patterns.
A post on the fan site's message board from a user who claims to have
contacted Daniel's brother stated, "Dan is medically stable for now, but is
now going through serious medication withdrawal, as his docs wanted to get
all of the lithium out of his system, and may next try safer meds. This
'blood cleaning process' is very hard on Dan, both physically and
emotionally, as you can imagine." The website also warns against visitors
and phone calls until Daniel's condition-- both mental and physical-- is
stable. Pitchfork wishes him the best.
Fortunately, there is also plenty of positive Daniel Johnston news to
report. In July, his parents began building him a house, located next door
to their own, so that Daniel can live independently. Construction is
progressing successfully. The project is being funded by sales of last
year's tribute album Discovered, Covered: The Late, Great Daniel Johnston,
as well as sales of Daniel's artwork.
In other news, the acclaimed documentary The Devil and Daniel Johnston will
receive wide release courtesy of Sony Pictures Classics in North America on
March 31, and in the UK via Tartan Films sometime that same month. It is
currently being considered for an Oscar nomination.
Daniel also recently wrapped up recording new songs with longtime friends
the Rhythm Rats from Austin, Texas, for an album, December Blues, which will
collect unreleased songs from the 1980s along with new material. No release
date has been announced yet.
Daniel is scheduled to perform at London's Barbican on March 12, with
several high-profile guests joining him on stage, including Sparklehorse's
Mark Linkous, Spiritualized's Jason Pierce, and Half Japanese's Jad Fair. A
Daniel Johnston cover show, entitled "The Superhero" and featuring Kevin
Blechdom, planningtorock, and many others, will take place on December 15 at
Festsaal Kreuzberg in Berlin. Three Daniel Johnston art exhibits, taking
place in Brussels, New York City and Houston, are scheduled for 2006. The
Houston show, happening at the Station Gallery in January, will also feature
work by the Butthole Surfers' Gibby Haynes.